We have been working to conserve carnivores and particularly spotted hyaena with our partners and stakeholders in Malawi since 2011. We work to educate people about carnivores and biodiversity conservation throughout Malawi through our Urban Hyaena Project, Carnivore Outreach and Helpline Programme and our Capacity Building Programme.
Using our expertise in carnivore conservation and research we are building capacity for staff from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Malawi (DNPW), Lilongwe City Council (LCC), and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).
Our Conservation Work
An urbanising world!
Globally, most urbanisation occurs in developing countries, which are predicted to contain 80% of the world’s urban population by 2030 (UNFPA 2007). By 2050 more than half of global population growth is expected to occur in Africa (UN 2015) with 66% of people living in cities. Urban expansion creates major challenges for biodiversity conservation; it is a significant factor in current and future predicted species extinctions and is regarded as a major threat to biodiversity. As the human population grows so do conflicts with conservation and wildlife. Understanding, assessing and enhancing urban biodiversity is of critical importance, from both conservation and social perspectives. Conserving urban biodiversity has unique implications for human well-being, public health and for making citizens aware of the importance of biodiversity conservation, as the majority of people globally will experience “nature” and related ecosystem services primarily within the urban fabric.
Lilongwe Malawi - a green city
Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Lilongwe City (the capital of Malawi) has a good network of green spaces, wetlands and river corridors, supporting a diverse array of species including spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), jackal (Canis adustus), serval (Leptilaurus serval). However, human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is frequent and results in extermination and animal control. Hyaena’s are shot, snared, poisoned and stoned to death.
Unfortunately, our focal hyaenas encounter man-made threats in and
around the city, such as snares. We monitor our resident clans extensively
through camera traps and therefore can respond immediately once
we detect a possible snare.
In September 2022, we called in the help of Lilongwe Wildlife Trust's
Wildlife Emergency Response Unit to tranquilize a hyaena of the urban clan that looked like it had a snare around its neck and jaw. Thanks to collaborations such as these the urban hyaena clan is protected and continues to stay healthy.
In the past we have successfully removed snares from a female hyaena's neck and from a young male's foot. We have also had to amputate one hyaena's hind foot due to the consequences of a snare.
hyaena translocation project
HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT MITITGATION
In rural Malawi, spotted hyaenas are suffering from extensive habitat loss due to the rapid transformation of any unprotected wild areas into agricultural land. Furthermore, this habitat loss results in a loss of prey, which causes hyaenas to turn their heads to livestock in rural villages. This regular depredation is source of many conflicts between hyaenas clans and local populations which sometimes leads to their hunting down by villagers.
CRM is working in villages around the country to mitigate the human-wildlife conflitct. Our aim is to protect the rural clans as well as the local populations by providing advice and support to protect themselves and their livestock. By visiting the villages and conducting interviews with locals whom have lost their livestock, we assess the situation and come up with tailored advice on their facilities and kraal to make them predator-proof.
With our partner, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), we are also looking at the long-term solution to rehabilitate the land where possible to allow the coming back of prey.
DEN MONITORING & protection
Wildlife Assistance Helpline
Before calling the Helpline, please read the advice to see if you can manage the problem. If you still need help, we would encourage you to call our free helpline so our team can carry out a site visit and provide solutions to your problems.
Wildlife Assistance Helpline
+265 99 025 1320